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Turbo charged light twins

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Well-known member
Jan 6, 2002
Where can I find information on the do's and don'ts of flying turbo charged light twins?

I got a guy who wants me to fly his turbo 310Q around and I don't know anything about turbos or 310s (besides what I read in the Multi Jepp book)

I know I should get a check out but I want a head start.

I've heard some horror stories about blown engines and turbo parts, ect

qwerty said:

I know I should get a check out but I want a head start.


I don't know anything about Cessna 310s whether turbocharged or not but I do know this: NO pilot should fly ANY aircraft that he knows nothing about.

Get a manual, learn it and get the check out that YOU correctly say you need. If things go wrong and you don't know what you're doing, the only head start you'll get is the wrong one.

Please, exercise good judgement! If you do, you wont need an ill gotten head start. Good luck and fly SAFE.

PS: Turbochargers are no big mystery. Most of the horror stories you say you hear are brought about by pilots who don't take the time to learn or who don't follow the rules. Something called "cokeing" is usually the biggest cause of problems. Read about it, it is easy to avoid if you follow the recommended operating procedures. John Deakin is experienced and writes well. You'll get a lot of good info reading his stuff.
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I got a guy who wants me to fly his turbo 310Q around and I don't know anything about turbos or 310s

Well, the 310 series was powered by the IO470 until the 1975 "R" version. If this quy has a Q version that has been turbocharged by way of an aftermarket turbonormalizing kit you will need to refer to the materials that supplement the Pilots' Operating Handbook for the modification.

There will be charts for the power settings and fuel burns for your reference. Flying a turbonormalized airplane is relatively straightforward since you operate the aircraft with the wastegates open (dumping the boost overboard) until around 8,000 feet, or so. Then as you lose manifold pressure you simply close the wastegate to maintain the desired manifold pressure.

As with any recip engine in a clean airframe, plan your decents well ahead of time and don't do a lot of throttle jockying. Several rules of thumb have been posted on the board, but I used to aim for an inch of manifold pressure a minute when making power reductions.

The first time you see your turbos glow at night it will scare the snot out of you (at least it did me). But you will come to like the flexibility of getting out of the weather and being able to maintain better climb rates. Just also be aware that in the mid - teens is where the most nasty ice is. If the turbos don't get you over the weather - they tend to put you right into the worst of it.

One other point about the 310's is the fuel system. Many of the aircraft have been modified with additional tanks (locker tanks mostly) and one set of drug runners was going from Guatemala to Scranton PA with all the fuel a 310 will hold (with some wierd power settings and a little processed Cocoa) At any rate, spend some time with the books and learn the fuel system, it is both a pleasure and a pain.

The 310 is a great flying airplane - wish I still had access to one.

Best Regards,
the 310R turbo will overboost at full throttle. When taking off hold the brakes until you get 1500+ rpm, then release trhe brakes and slowly advance the throttles until you get full manifold pressure, dont just firewall it. also be ready for boost surge between 1500 rpm and full power as the turbos come online. steady throttle advancement will prevent this. be careful with the leaning too. good luck, its a great airplane.
Here is the secret to flying turbo charged pistons: Don't make large power changes.

Turbos need a little more attention and finesse, but don't sweat it. I've flown alot of the piston twin Cessna products (although it's been awhile) and I really enjoyed them. The 310 is a good plane and I liked the R model the best (flys alot like the 400 series).

The basic thing you have to keep in mind with turbo charging is that you are pumping a lot of heat thru parts of the engine. You have to give things time to heat up and cool off as evenly as possible. Plan your power changes, basic rule of thumb I used was no more than 2" every 2 min in the descent. Everyone has some trick or technique, they will want to teach you, find something you are comfortable with and stick with it.

I always give a turbo charged engine a "cool down" period before shut down. I start a clock when taxing clear of the runway and don't shut down untill it's been about 4-5 min at low power for things to "cool off".

Fly Safe.
I have few hours in twin cessna (500), 340, 310, 421. I went through flight saftey for the 421, great course. They key to all twin cessna is to stage cool the engines. Set no less the 19 inches of MP during a descent. Use your drag devises to slow down, 10' flaps, gear down, that will give 120 kias, and about 800 ft per min with engines at 19inches. Keep 19 until you are on short final then walk the engines back 1 inch per secon untill you touch down.
On take off do not overboost the engines, moniter the MP through out the role, as soon as you cage the gear and are about 500ft agl, bring the power back to top of green on MP and RPM. Do not stay in takeoff power more then 1 min.
These are the major items that will save your engines, your best bet is to find some with some twin cessna time and talk and fly with them.

good luck, and rember stage cool!
one more thing when in the flare and about to touch down pull the power all the way back in one smooth 2-3 second movement. this is especially true in geared 421 and 404 engines as the 15" and below power settings set up harmonic vibration and chatter in the gearbox.
I don't know much about trubos, but I have a great rule for planning your descents...

I divide my ground speed by 30 and then multiply that by the thousands of feet I have to loose and that is how far out I start my descent...I know that doesn't make any sense so here is an example:

Ground Speed = 180
My Altitude = 10,000 MSL
Airport Elev= 2,000 MSL
Altitude to loose = 8,000 feet <--divide this by 1000 for the formula to work

Ground Speed/30 or 180/30 = 6

Altitude to loose x The number above or 8 x 6 = 48 miles out I
should begin my descent

This works great for a 500 fpm descent at a constant airspeed. If you want to come down at 1000/fpm, use 60 instead of 30

180/60 = 3

3 * 8 = 24 miles out

Hope this helps

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